Since I picked 31 miles as a reasonable and achievable number, it should be no surprise that I successfully met my goal. Well- actually, I am kind of surprised. I usually don't quite achieve my running goals and tend to wimp out of a couple runs or trim a few miles off of every training plan. (See this post on my failed training for the last marathon.) This time I did it - I ran 3 miles a day, for 2 or 3 days a week, consistently all month long for a grand total of 31 miles. (Technically, it was a grand total of 30.6 miles, but we round in this family.)
compared to the dotted line (which represents running 1 mile per day), I was pretty close.
Then I noticed I was getting faster and stronger, so running was less miserable. The first time I ran, I allowed myself to go as slow as I needed to finish the 3 mile loop. Then, every day after that, I tried to walk a little less and finish a little sooner than the time before. When I could easily run past a spot where I previously needed to stop and walk - it was an awesome boost of confidence (even if I just stopped to walk a little further down the road). Sure enough, my total time to complete the distance started dropping as I walked less and less - going from an average of almost 16-minute miles down to 13-minute miles. (I'm still really slow, but that's a huge improvement). I also managed to throw in 2 yoga classes during the month, which I assumes helps with strength and flexibility and whatnot. Over the month, I also noticed that I got less winded climbing stairs and doing other exercise - which means I'm getting stronger too.
the more I ran- the faster I got.
While the goal was really just to get moving, and hopefully to get a bit faster - I also kind of hoped to lose some weight while I was at it. Sure enough, as I covered more mileage and got faster, I started losing weight too. I'm down 3 pounds since the beginning of the month, and my pants seem to fit better. I'm also down 2% body fat, which seems like a good thing.
I still have a long way to get to get back into shape - but I'm pretty happy with my results. Clearly, setting concrete goals for myself that are both ambitious and achievable works for me. 1 month was the perfect timeline - long enough to create a new habit and see results, but short enough to stay motivated.
So, new goals for November:
- Run 40 miles (10 miles per week)
- Focus on speed, try to get to 11.5 minutes per mile
- Go to at least one weights/yoga class per week
So - the question everyone is asking - what is my current running spirit animal? Well, I'm not quite a gazelle yet, but I'm no hungry hungry hippo either. After much consideration - I think my current spirit animal is a city bus. I can pick up some speed and have some power, but I never get moving all that fast and have to make several stops. Fingers crossed - maybe I'll be a greyhound or even a chinatown bus someday!!